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עִברִית

  • Professional Team

    The Hebrew at the Center team consists of professionals passionate about Hebrew, second language acquisition and Jewish education, who are experienced at working in a wide range of educational settings. Each person on the team brings her or his own Hebrew journey and field experience, personal values, and own special talents and interest to ensure a well-rounded team where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

    Team members have academic, accreditation, and professional training in the following areas:

    • Curricular design
    • Assessment & evaluation
    • Early childhood education
    • Special education
    • Proficiency approach
    • Language planning
    • Sociolinguistics
    • Identity formation
    • Early childhood education
    • Coaching & mentoring
    • Onboarding novice teachers
    • Curricular integration
    • Educational theory
    • Change management
    • Mission & vision development
    • Lay & professional dynamics
    Our staff are also experienced professionals, recognized for their expertise & knowledge in the field:
    • Served as senior leaders and executives at Jewish day schools and national organizations
    • Frequent presenters at Jewish educational conferences
    • Worked with more than 100 schools to strengthen their Hebrew programs

     

    • Publish in academic and professional journals
    • Leaders at second-language conferences at the regional, national and international level
    • Partner in creating  the Avant STAMP assessment tool for Hebrew
    • Associated with Prizmah, CASJE, Jewish Interactive, TalentEd, and others
    • Helped found the  Council for Hebrew Language and Culture in North America
    • Consult on Hebrew immersion programs such as charter schools and day camps

    Whether responding to the immediacy of challenges surfaced during pandemics to the sustained multi-year projects such as Leading in Hebrew, the Hebrew at the Center team is nimble, intentional, persistent, and effective. Lifelong learners, our staff believes that Hebrew is an essential building block of a rich Jewish identity, connecting individuals to Jewish sources, values, history, peoplehood, and Israel.

    Leadership Team

  • הצוות המקצועי

    צוות עברית במרכז מורכב מאנשי.נשות מקצוע בעלי.ות תשוקה לעברית, לרכישת שפה נוספת, ולחינוך יהודי, ובעלי.ות נסיון בעבודה עם מגוון רחב של ארגונים חינוכיים. כל אחד ואחת בצוות מביא.ה עימו.ה את נסיונו.ה הייחודי בעברית, ערכיו.ה האישיים, כישוריו.ה, ותחומי העניין שלו.ה על מנת לתרום ביחד לצוות מגוון בו השלם גדול מסך חלקיו.


    חברי.ות הצוות בעלי.ות הכשרה אקדמית ומקצועית בתחומים הבאים:

    • תכנון ופיתוח תכניות לימוד
    • הערכה ומדידה
    • הוראת הגיל הרך
    • חינוך מיוחד
    • גישת הפרופישיונסי
    • תכנון מדיניות שפה
    • סוציולינגוויסטיקה
    • הבניית זהות
    • הוראת הגיל הרך
    • הדרכה והנחייה
    • הדרכת מורים.ות חדשים.ות
    • שילוב חומרי לימוד
    • תאוריות בחינוך
    • ניהול שינויים
    • פיתוח החזון וה”אני מאמין” הארגוני
    • דינמיקות בין-מקצועיות

    לצוות המקצועי שלנו נסיון מוכח, ידע ומומחיות בתחומים הבאים: 

    • שימשו בתפקידי הנהלה בכירה והנהגה בבתי ספר וארגונים יהודיים
    • מציגים.ות מוכרים.ות בכנסים מקצועיים בתחום החינוך היהודי
    • עבדו עם יותר מ-100 בתי ספר לחיזוק תכניות העברית שלהם
    • מפרסמים.ות בכתבי עת אקדמיים ומקצועיים
    • מובילי.ות כנסים בתחום הוראת שפה נוספת ברמה אזורית, לאומית, ובינלאומית
    • שותפים.ות ביצירת מבחן האבחון Avant STAMP בעברית
    • בעלי.ות קשרים מקצועיים עם Prizmah, CASJE, Jewish Interactive, TalentEd, ועוד
    • השתתפו ביסודה של המועצה לשפה ותרבות עברית בצפון אמריקה
    • מייעצים.ות לתכניות immersion בבתי ספר צ’רטר ובמחנות קיץ

    בין אם במתן מענה לאתגרים מיידיים שעלו במהלך תקופת המגיפה ובין אם בטיפול בפרויקטים רב-שנתיים וארוכי טווח, כמו פרויקט מובילים בעברית, צוות עברית במרכז הוא מהיר, מכוון מטרה, מתמיד, ויעיל. הצוות שלנו, המורכב מלומדים.ות-תמידיים.ות, מאמין שהעברית היא אבן יסוד חיונית בבניית זהות יהודית עשירה המחברת אנשים למקורות וערכים יהודיים, לעמיות וההיסטוריה של העם היהודי, ולישראל.

    צוות הנהלה

Professional Team

The Hebrew at the Center team consists of professionals passionate about Hebrew, second language acquisition and Jewish education, experienced at working in a wide range of educational settings. Each person on the team brings her or his own Hebrew journey and field experience, personal values, and own special talents and interest to ensure a well-rounded team where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

Team members have academic, accreditation, and professional training in the following areas:

  • Curricular design
  • Assessment & evaluation
  • Early childhood education
  • Special education
  • Proficiency approach
  • Language planning
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Identity formation
  • Early childhood education
  • Coaching & mentoring
  • Onboarding novice teachers
  • Curricular integration
  • Educational theory
  • Change management
  • Mission & vision development
  • Lay & professional dynamics
Our staff are also experienced professionals, recognized for their expertise & knowledge in the field:
  • Served as senior leaders and executives at Jewish day schools and national organizations
  • Frequent presenters at Jewish educational conferences
  • Worked with more than 100 schools to strengthen their Hebrew programs

 

  • Publish in academic and professional journals
  • Leaders at second-language conferences at the regional, national and international level
  • Partner in creating  the Avant STAMP assessment tool for Hebrew
  • Associated with Prizmah, CASJE, Jewish Interactive, TalentEd, and others
  • Helped found the  Council for Hebrew Language and Culture in North America
  • Consult on Hebrew immersion programs such as charter schools and day camps

 

Whether responding to the immediacy of challenges surfaced during pandemics to the sustained multi-year projects such as Leading in Hebrew, the Hebrew at the Center team is nimble, intentional, persistent, and effective. Lifelong learners, our staff believes that Hebrew is an essential building block of a rich Jewish identity, connecting individuals to Jewish sources, values, history, peoplehood, and Israel

RABBI ANDREW ERGAS EdD.

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
DR. ESTY GROSS
Chief of Staff and Director of Education

JONATHAN NIERMAN

Chief Philanthropy Officer

AMY BEN-DOV

 DIRECTOR OF HEBREW AND INFORMAL EDUCATION

DR. CINDY DOLGIN

DIRECTOR OF MEMBERSHIP AND DATA

NILI PINHASI

SENIOR EDUCATIONAL CONSULTANT

DR. SARAH RUBINSON LEVY

DIRECTOR OF PRITZAT DERECH AND ACADEMIC INITIATIVES

BEN VORSPAN

DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS

Global Staff

SHERI AROTCHAS

SENIOR EDUCATIONAL CONSULTANT & EVENTS COORDINATOR

PAULA LEVINE
PROJECT COORDINATOR
LEAH PICKHOLZ
EXECUTIVE ADMINISTRATOR & BUSINESS OFFICE MANAGER

DIANE ROBERTS

ACCOUNTANT

Advisors & Senior Consultants

DR. CARMIT BURSTYN

SENIOR EDUCATIONAL CONSULTANT

FRIEDA ROBINS
ADVISOR – EARLY CHILDHOOD
DR. JEREMY BENSTEIN
SENIOR CONSULTANT & SICHA BLOGGER

Coaches

ELIANA GORDON

COACH
HAMUTAL KEINAN
COACH
ARIELA NEHEMNE
COACH
ORIT SHAKARGHI
COACH

Join Hebrew teachers, Hebrew leaders, and other school leaders for an intensive, virtual conference on Sunday, April 3, 11:30 – 3:30 EDT. 

Click here for more information and to register

RABBI ANDREW ERGAS

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Bringing over twenty-five years of involvement in Jewish education and leadership, Rabbi Andrew Ergas has served as the Executive Director of the Shames JCC on the Hudson and in similar role at the Jewish Community Project Downtown (JCP). Andrew also served for seven years as Head of School at Beit Rabban Day School on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. In the past, he served as Executive Director of the Association of Reform Zionists of America (ARZA), as a Director of the Union for Reform Judaism’s Youth Division, as a resident and day camp director for both Young Judaea and for JCC’s, and as an organizational management consultant.

Andrew was ordained in Jerusalem by the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, and holds master’s degrees in nonprofit management and in Hebrew literature. A graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Education certificate program, Andrew is also a doctoral candidate in education at the Jewish Theological Seminary, with a research focus on Hebrew, identity and pedagogy.

A frequent lecturer and writer on Israel and Diaspora relations, Jewish history and effective change management within organizational life, Rabbi Ergas is recognized as a leading speaker and educator in the Jewish community and beyond. He is active in his home congregation and serves in a volunteer capacity as the Board Chair for the Council on Hebrew Language and Culture in North America. Andrew enjoys playing guitar, great movies, and spending time outdoors. Andrew lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. with his wife Jennifer and has three young adult sons, Erez, Natan and Ari.

DR. ESTY GROSS

CHIEF OF STAFF & DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION

Prior to joining the team at HATC, Dr. Gross served for five years as the Education Director for Hebrew Studies, Global Division for the Center for Educational Technology (CET), a leading provider of Hebrew curriculum and professional development for the Jewish educational field worldwide. She has worked within academia as a former Associate Coordinator of DeLeT L’Ivrit and currently serves as a Visiting Lecturer at DeLeT Lehoraat Ivrit at Hebrew Union College and as an Adjunct Professor in the MAT-TESOL program for the University of Southern California. Esty has over twenty-five years of field experience, starting as an English teacher in Israel, and upon moving to the United States, as a Hebrew teacher, Department Chair, Curriculum Specialist, Professional Development Consultant, and Director in leading Jewish day schools in the Los Angeles area.

A former Co-Chair of the National Association for Hebrew Teachers (NAHeT) and a member of the Council for Hebrew Language and Culture in North America, Esty has presented in countless schools and conferences and has written numerous articles, authored and co-authored textbooks, and is currently in the process of publishing two books on Hebrew pedagogy and equitable language education.

Esty received her doctorate in Educational Leadership at the University of Southern California, holds an M.A. in Management and Leadership in Education from Tel Aviv University, a Coordinator and Master Teacher Certificate from Hebrew College, and a B.A. in English Linguistics as well as a Teacher’s Diploma for Teaching English as a Second Language from Bar Ilan University.

JONATHAN NIERMAN

Chief Philanthropy Officer

As Chief Philanthropy Officer, Jonathan is responsible for driving the major gifts program and providing strategic direction and oversight for the Development Team, which includes communications, institutional support, and events. In concert with Rabbi Andrew Ergas, HATC’s CEO, Jonathan manages a robust portfolio of high-level donors and works closely with the Board to further strengthen the philanthropic program.

Prior to working at HATC, Jonathan served for 5 years as the Chief Development Officer for JVS Boston, where he led a 2-year, $18M capacity building campaign for the agency. Jonathan also served as the Regional Director of Development of American Jewish Committee. In this position he successfully managed high level donors on a national and international scope and worked extensively with partnering Jewish organizations and the Jewish philanthropic community. Additionally, Jonathan served as a Donor Relations Officer at the National MS Society where he had success building organizational and team capacity. In this role he managed a portfolio of major donors and corporate partners and honed his managerial skills by offering mentorship and training to teams at regional offices and supervising his own team of 7.

Jonathan holds a B.A. in Political Science and Psychology from Union College and was a Fellow at Brandeis University’s Institute for Informal Jewish Education.

AMY BEN-DOV

DIRECTOR OF HEBREW AND INFORMAL EDUCATION

Amy Ben-Dov has nearly 30 years of experience in the world of Jewish Education.  After graduating from the University of Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Science, she made aliya.  

Amy was licensed by Israel’s Ministry of Tourism as a Tour Guide and has spent many years as an educator throughout the country. She then attended Hebrew University and has a Master’s Degree in Contemporary Jewry (Yahadut Zmanenu)

After many years of guiding, Amy went on to teach and coordinate at NFTY’s High School in Israel program, as well serving as the Director of Education for all of NFTY’s  Israel programs.

In the last decade, Amy has worked on program development,  and guide training, especially during her tenure as the CEO of Israel Seminar, a boutique travel company. After leaving Israel Seminar, Amy and her husband started their own travel consultancy, and Amy both guided clients throughout the country as well as doing all travel planning.

Most recently, Amy has trained the next generation of licensed tour guides as the coordinator of the Israel School of Tourism’s Jerusalem course. During the year of the pandemic, Amy has successfully created innovative virtual tours of Israel.  

Outside of work, Amy enjoys the outdoor life and finding new adventures to experience all over Israel and the world.  Her friends can always count on her to suggest a great way to spend a few hours or even a few days. Amy and her husband, Gadi, have two children, Niv and Ori, and are about to move from their current home in Modiin, back to their true love, Jerusalem.

DR. CINDY DOLGIN, EdD

DIRECTOR OF MEMBERSHIP AND DATA

Since high school, Cindy’s personal mission statement has been, “I am a servant of K’lal Yisrael.” Although her natural inclination was to be an educator, Cindy also wanted to make Aliyah and be financially self-sufficient, so she set out to develop tech skills that would be transferable to establishing a career in Israel. Cindy’s first career was in database management and systems analysis, first in banking, then in high tech, and mostly in Israel. Cindy has since had a long and fulfilling second career in Jewish education, based in New York, teaching children, teachers, and adult learners, and leading departments, curriculum development projects, divisions, and schools.

In addition to being certified in Systems Design and Analysis by the Sivan Institute in Tel Aviv, Cindy holds a BA in Economics/Management Information Systems and Near Eastern Studies from University of Michigan, an MA in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and a doctorate in Religion and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Her area of doctoral research was in teacher learning and professional culture. Cindy began learning Hebrew in earnest while in college, studied for one year at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and over the years returned again and again to Ulpan and to a well-known Hebrew language tutor in Tel Aviv, in order to become fluent and proficient in all aspects of Biblical, Rabbinic and modern Hebrew.

Having grown up in an actively involved Reform Jewish family with strong roots in synagogue, youth group, and Jewish camping, Cindy has been a teacher and leader in every aspect of Jewish congregational and day schools across the religious spectrum, as well as in the Ramah camping movement. Her first career in systems design and analysis always informed Cindy’s work, and she became the unofficial “guardian of the data” at every school in which she worked. Cindy served for seven years as Head of School at the Schechter School of Long Island, with a staff and faculty of 100 professionals, teaching and nurturing hundreds of students from Kindergarten through 12th grade, until they would head off to elite colleges, universities, the US or Israeli military, or gap year programs in North America and Israel. Cindy is so proud that her own children and all SSLI alumni step into the world fortified with powerful learning and leadership habits, Jewish identities, and Hebrew language skills.

Early in the pandemic, Cindy returned to the physical and virtual classroom as a Jewish day school teacher, teaching middle school English at Ramaz and elementary Hebrew and Judaic studies at Schechter School of Long Island. In her spare time, Cindy studies Daf Yomi, tends to her garden, creates new recipes in her kitchen, and frequently visits her children and adorable grandson in Israel.

NILI PINHASI

SENIOR EDUCATIONAL CONSULTANT

As a strong believer in the power of education, Nili chose to work in the teaching profession as a second career. After teaching English in Israel, at the NB Haifa School of Design, she moved to the US to teach Hebrew. Nili had taught Hebrew in various educational settings, including Jewish day schools, non-Jewish private school, afternoon high school, and more, as well as served as the Hebrew department chair in a Jewish high school and middle school in Cleveland, Ohio.

More recently, as an educational consultant for The Center for Educational Technology, Nili supported all levels of Hebrew professionals and promoted best practices in Hebrew learning/teaching through mentorship and professional development.

Nili holds an LLB from Tel Aviv University, a BA in English and a teaching certification (English) from Oranim Academic College of Education, and had completed English Linguistics graduate courses in the English Department at the University of Haifa. Nili has an MA in Foreign Language Teaching from Michigan State University and is currently a doctorate student in the College of Education at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Nili lives with her husband, three kids, and their beloved dog in Cleveland, Ohio. She enjoys art, sports, traveling, and learning new things.

DR. SARAH RUBINSON LEVY

PRITZAT DERECH PROJECT COORDINATOR

Dr. Sarah Rubinson Levy has been involved in education since 2001 – working, teaching, consulting, and writing in the areas of supplemental, day school, adult, and experiential education. She holds an undergraduate degree in business and sociology and holds a Master of Jewish Education degree from Hebrew College, a doctorate in education from Northeastern University, and certificates in Advanced Jewish Studies, Day School Education, and Jewish Educational Leadership.

Her areas of focus include progressive/student-centered education, integration of artificial intelligence into education, and teacher professional development and support. She considers herself a scholar-practitioner, drawing from research and data to create effective and joyful learning environments.

Most recently, she was a founding head of school for Einstein Academy, a progressive private school in Denver, CO. She currently empowers excellence in education through her work with Sarah Rubinson Consulting and Contracting with an approach that integrates empathy and curiosity, working with each organization in a way that is both realistic and aspirational.

She is a proud Colorado native and currently lives in Denver, CO with her four kids, dog, beta fish, and leopard gecko.

BEN VORSPAN

DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS

Ben has been serving the nonprofit community for more than twenty years,
and during that time, has built a reputation for the creativity that he brings to nonprofit marketing, communications, fundraising, programming and membership engagement.
After graduating from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in religious studies, Ben began working in marketing, communications, and creative roles with an assortment of organizations, including the Hebrew Union College, The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, Temple Aliyah and Valley Beth Shalom Day School.
In 2007, Ben founded Inspired Multimedia, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in working with nonprofit organizations around the world to build websites and improve marketing efforts. During that time, he also helped found and run a thriving group for young professionals in the Los Angeles area, receiving national recognition and grants.
Ben enjoys playing music, cooking and working with his hands, and lives in Los Angeles where he is married to Elana, a fellow nonprofit professional, and has two brilliant and creative children, Evan and Judah.

SHERI AROTCHAS

Senior Educational Consultant

Sheri is a dedicated Hebrew educator with a rich and diverse background in second language acquisition. She has made a significant impact on the lives of students both in Israel and the United States. Sheri’s teaching journey began at Muzot High School in Jafa, Israel, where she specialized in instructing English as a second language for youth at risk.

Her commitment to language education extended to Atlanta, GA, where she teaches Hebrew as a second language. Sheri’s expertise and passion for Hebrew language and culture instruction led her to serve as the Hebrew coordinator at The Weber School in Atlanta. Her role involved shaping the Hebrew language curriculum, contributing to the professional growth of her Hebrew team, and expanding the educational development of students.

Sheri holds a Bachelor of Education in special education and English as a second language from Levinsky College in Tel Aviv. Her academic achievements include participation in the excellence program of the Ministry of Education. Furthering her education, she earned a Master of Arts in teaching Hebrew as a second language from Middlebury College. Notably, Sheri was selected as one of ten Mandel Fellows, recognized for her potential to lead positive change in the field of Hebrew language and Culture Education. Sheri is passionate about teaching Hebrew Language and Culture through a critical lens, empowering Jewish children and youth to leverage their privileges toward repairing the world.

Beyond her professional accomplishments, Sheri embraces a fulfilling family life. She is a devoted wife and mother to two young children, two dogs, and two cats, and finds balance in maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. Sheri stands as a testament to the power of education, dedication, and a holistic approach to life.

PAULA LEVINE

PROJECT COORDINATOR

Paula has held key leadership roles with Temple Israel of Natick , United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and the Bureau of Jewish Education. At Temple Israel she has held the position of President, Executive Vice-President, and chair of several committees. Paula has been Education Vice-President of the New England Region of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and for a number of years sat on the National Board of Directors. She was President of the Boston Bureau of Jewish Education and a member of the Board of Directors of Combined Jewish Philanthropies and maintained a seat on the Family Education Task Force. She brings the same organizational skills to Hebrew At The Center as she did to her synagogue, the Conservative movement and Jewish education for more than thirty-five years. Paula is the mother of one day-school graduate daughter and Savta to two grandchildren, both of whom attend day school in Washington, D.C
paulal@hebrewatthecenter.org

LEAH PICKHOLZ
Executive And Business Office Assistant

Leah joined Hebrew at the Center in 2018. She assists the CEO, and supports him with board-related matters. She also attends to bookkeeping, HR matters, and support for HATC development program. Prior to joining HATC, Leah worked as a substitute teacher at the Hopkinton school system, fulfilling her passion to teach and nurture children. For over 20 years Leah worked with her husband as the office administrator and marketing director at their music production studio. Leah helped organize numerous benefit events and recitals and attended to the administrative and financial duties of the studio’s office.  She is a member of the Society for Human Resources, and is currently pursuing a certificate in HR.

Leah grew up in Tel Aviv Israel. She served in the IDF as a communication specialist. Leah attended Tel-Aviv University where she earned a B.A, majoring in Political Science. While attending school, she taught music and was a Hebrew tutor and continued to do so when she first moved to the United States.

Besides Hebrew and Israeli culture, Leah is passionate about Jazz and Classical music and loves to read. Her “guilty pleasure” is spy mystery novels i.e. books by Daniel Silva, Barry Eisler, and others.

DIANE ROBERTS

Accountant

Diane is a CFO/ Controller with more than 20 years’ experience in various industries. Diane holds a BS in Accounting and an MBA in Corporate Finance / International Human Resources.

In her free time Diane enjoys traveling and spending time with her new daughter.

DR. CARMIT BURSTYN

SENIOR EDUCATIONAL CONSULTANT

Dr. Burstyn has been teaching Hebrew as a second language since 2003. She is the Hebrew Instructional Leader grades 6th-12th in a Milken community school in Los-Angeles California, and a teaching professor at Hebrew Union College (HUC) in Los Angeles, CA. In addition, she serves as an Educational Consultant at HUC, and as a Senior Educational Consultant at Hebrew at the Center. Dr. Burstyn is the author of Bishvil Ha-Ivrit teacher’s guide 3, as well as the author of the Besod Haivrit (Foundation of Hebrew) teacher’s guide, published by the Center of Educational Technology (CET), Tel-Aviv, Israel.

FRIEDA ROBINS
Advisor – Early Childhood

Frieda was the Lead Educator of Ma’alah, Early Childhood Hebrew Immersion Network at the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary, also funded by The Covenant Foundation. At JTS she had also directed a program of Judaic Enrichment for Early Childhood Educators. These pilot programs were later replicated in various educational settings throughout the country. Frieda has also served as Director of Early Childhood Programs at Camp Ramah of New England. Before joining JTS, Frieda taught at the New City Jewish Center for 16 years in the religious school, preschool and Hebrew for adults, and at Rockland Community College. She holds a Masters in Jewish Education from JTS and was a doctoral candidate in Jewish Education there. Her research interests include early childhood Jewish education and Hebrew language education and evaluation. Frieda concentrates on professional development for early childhood educators both in Hebrew proficiency education and assessment and in Judaic studies. She has published studies on the Hebrew language immersion program at Camp Ramah, Judaic enrichment as change agent and scholarly research in Hebrew Immersion. Frieda is an ELLOPA (Early Language Listening and Oral Proficiency Assessment) trainer and tester with CAL (Center for Applied Linguistics), specializing in Early Childhood Hebrew language assessment.

DR. JEREMY BENSTEIN
SENIOR CONSULTANT & SICHA BLOGGER

Dr. Jeremy Benstein is an educator, author, and Hebrew lover. He holds a BA in linguistics from Harvard, a master’s degree in Judaic studies from the Schechter Institute in Jerusalem, and a doctorate in cultural anthropology from Hebrew University. He grew up in the Midwest and moved to Israel over 35 years ago. Along the way, he helped found the Heschel Center for Sustainability in Tel Aviv.
He is currently the managing editor of 929-English (Tanakh: Age-Old Text, New Perspectives – www.929.org.il) and lives in Zichron Yaakov with his wife, Prof. Annabel Herzog, five children, two cats, and many books. He is the author of two books. The first, The Way Into Judaism and the Environment (Jewish Lights, 2006), is an outgrowth of his work on Jewish studies and environmental issues. His most recent one, Hebrew Roots, Jewish Routes: A Tribal Language In a Global World (Behrman House, 2019) is a labor of love for and about the Hebrew language and its role in Jewish history, identity, and peoplehood. He has written and lectured widely on the topic of Hebrew and Jewish peoplehood and identity in North America and Israel.

ELIANA GORDON

COACH

Eliana Gordon was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has more than 25 years of experience as a Hebrew and Jewish Studies. During all these years, Eliana has gained a plethora of varied experience, having taught for 14 years in the Diaspora (Argentina, Mexico and USA) and for 12 years in Israel.

Eliana holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Bible Studies from Oranim Academic College of Education, Israel, a Master’s Degree in Jewish Education from The Hebrew University in Jerusalem and a Teaching Certificate in Hebrew Language and Jewish Studies from Mijlelet Shazar, the Hebrew Teachers College in Buenos Aires. In addition, she specializes in teaching Bible (Universidad Hebraica de México), Hebrew as a second language (The MOFET Institute, Israel), pedagogical coordination (Open University of Israel), project-based learning (The Center for Educational Technology, Israel) and teacher guidance (Gordon Academic College, Israel). In 2008, Eliana won the Alejandro Saltiel Award for Excellence in Teaching, awarded to outstanding teachers in the Jewish schools’ network in Mexico.

After 12 years of working in Jewish schools and teaching afterschool Hebrew classes, she participated in the ‘Senior Educators’ program at the Melton Center at Hebrew University. Following a fascinating year, she immigrated to Israel and began working at the Hebrew Reali School in Haifa, first as an educator in the elementary school, then as a pedagogical coordinator, facilitator of new teacher training and as a member of the school’s pedagogical team. While on the team, she led the shift to project-based learning and participated in the development of the new pedagogical programs, which promote self-regulation in learning processes. Concurrently, she was a Bible instructor for the Ministry of Education and took part in writing the new program for all schools in Israel.

During her time in Israel, Eliana performed many roles for the communities in the Diaspora. She was a pedagogical instructor in the ‘Chalav U’dvash’ program, taught courses in Bible and Hebrew to teachers in Latin America at Hebrew University, participated in building the Jewish Museum in Chile and gave lectures and courses at the Hebraica University in Mexico.

Eliana relocated to the Bay Area in 2021 due to her husband’s employment. Since her arrival, she has assumed the role of Pedagogical Manager at ‘Beged Kefet Hebrew School’ located at the JCC Palo Alto. In addition to her responsibilities at the school, she also delivers lectures on the subject of DI at Hebraica University and provides guidance to local institutions on enhancing the effectiveness of Hebrew instruction methods.

HAMUTAL KEINAN
Coach

Hamutal Keinan was a member of the first HATC TELEM cohort and works as an HATC coach. She recently joined the staff of Luria Academy of Brooklyn. Previously, she served as a Hebrew and Bible teacher at the Epstein School in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to teaching at Epstein, Hamutal worked as a Language Coordinator at the Balfour Elementary School in Tel Aviv, Israel.
In this role, she created curricula and new teaching materials, led professional development, and provided guidance to teachers.
Hamutal is a certified Educational Evaluator Specialist and holds a Master’s in Special Education.
She believes strongly in using assessment tools to evaluate students’ progress and their growth in acquiring a second language. She works hard to incorporate creative work into the process of learning Hebrew as a second language by incorporating music, poetry, digital learning into her classroom.

MERAV LEVY
COACH
Meirav Levy has been an educator for 24 years in her native Israel and in the U.S. A graduate of Kay College, she earned her teaching certificate from the Israeli’s Ministry of Education. For 13 years, Meirav taught grades 2 – 6 and served as the Language Coordinator at Amirim Elementary School in Israel. For the last 11 years, she taught Hebrew to grades 3 – 8 at the Seattle Jewish Community School. Over the last three years as a coordinator, she has also created the Hebrew curriculum and guided teachers to implement the proficiency approach. Meirav enjoys implementing graphic design and technology into learning units and interactive games. And in her curricula, she stresses connections between Hebrew, Jewish identity and culture.
ARIELA NEHEMNE

COACH

Ariela Nehemne was born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel and has been teaching for 24 years. She received her degree in psychology from the Open University in Jerusalem and studied at Ramat Gan College Hacker Software School, where she became a Microsoft Solution Certified Developer (MCSD).
In addition, in June of 2018, she completed HATC’s 18-month TELEM program and became an HATC coach working with schools throughout North America.
In Israel, Ariela was a teacher for children with special needs and hearing impairments and a technology teacher for elementary and middle school.
Ariela moved to Los Angeles in 2003 and studied early childhood education at the UCLA extension school.
Since 2003, Ariela has taught Hebrew and Judaic Studies at Pressman Academy and subsequently at Valley Beth Shalom Harold M. Schulweis Day School where she also served as the school’s Hebrew at the Center coordinator and teacher mentor. Currently, she is a Hebrew and Judaic studies teacher at Ilan Ramon Day School in Agoura Hills, California where she also mentors teachers and writes curriculum for grades pre-K through 2.
Ariela received the Sabati Patt Teacher of the Year Award in June, 2010 and the Milken Jewish Educator Award in October, 2014.
Ariela speaks Hebrew, English, Sign Language (for the hearing impaired) and Romanian.

ORIT SHAKARGHI
Coach

Having completed the 18-month TELEM program in June of 2018, Orit became an HATC coach working with schools throughout North America.
In addition, since 2012, Orit has been teaching Hebrew at Associated Hebrew Schools (AHS) where she also served as the Head Teacher of the Hebrew Department, at Danilack Middle School Hurwitz Education Center, mentoring and coaching Hebrew teachers, as well as special education teachers for all Middle School grades. She also serves as a resource teacher for all Judaic studies students. Orit graduated with Honors from Ben Gurion University with a BA in Education and Literacy and received an Honours Master of Special Education from Academic Studies Center, Or Yehuda, Israel, a Teaching Diploma in Special Education for K-9 in Beer Sheva, Israel, and completed the AHS coaching and mentorship training program.